Archive - January, 2010

All You Need Is Love (Pillows)

Love pillows? Oh boy! Er, unless they’re the most definitely NSFW Japanese love pillows. The love pillows below are not those, however, and are perfectly appropriate for workplace viewing so long as blog browsing isn’t the sort of thing likely to get you sacked. Enjoy!

love pillow

$24 at Nesta

love pillow toast and tables

At Maison de Vacances

love pillows 3

£29 at Lush Designs

love pillows 2

I found this one here, but I don’t have any clue where it came from originally.

love pillows 1

And these pretty pillows came from Living, Etc.

Happiness Is Pure Yellow

With what seems like a string of blah winters days behind me and who knows how many more blah winter days ahead — since hereabouts, winter can last well into May — I need a little cheering up. Yellow interiors put a smile on my face because they’re like the little bit of sun I can see when I can’t really see the sun. Here’s hoping these awesome yellow interiors, furniture, and accessories give you a lift, too.

yellow table

yellow chair

yellow kitchen

yellow lamp

yellow walls

yellow paint

yellow keep calm and carry on

Images via: House and Home; Risulinna; Moline; Benita; Supershoppertoo; Jerry Force

Two Fab Before and Afters

The first comes from Mod Podge Rocks:

mod podge table beforemod podge table after

Amy took a fairly boring end table and spruced it up with a little paint, some scrapbooking paper, and of course, her signature Mod Podge. Directions can be found here for those who have their own boring end tables in need of upcycling.

The second comes from Moneywise Moms:

mod podge dresser before
mod podge dresser after

Gina posted a dresser re-do how-to that looks slightly more advanced than the one above, but seems straightforward enough for the dedicated crafter. I think both are awesome, and super inspiring to people like me who want to spruce up their furniture but are always putting it off.

NtB Loves: Chocolate Creative

South London interdisciplinary designer Margarita Lorenzo is my new favorite human being, and it’s all because of her pillows. What’s not to like? Handmade throw pillows that use sustainable fabrics, feature kitschy vintage patterns, and are hand sewn so each is unique are her signature product.

throw pillows

Aren’t they just too adorable? They’re also a wee bit expensive, but those are the prices you tend to see when you’re looking for goods not made in some big, honkin’ factory. Find them at Chocolate Creative, Lorenzo’s shop, or see more on her Flickr page or in her blog.

Tallboys, Highboys, and Lowboys

…or as I prefer to think of them, boys boys boys! All right, not really, but many people see these terms and what comes to mind is men of varying statures as the modern individual is seldom schooled in furniture jargon. To combat ignorance and making shopping that much easier, here’s a guide to tallboys, highboys, and lowboys. I’m thinking perhaps that it will be the first of many posts clearing up misconceptions where furniture and decor are concerned.

highboy

A highboy is a tall double chest of drawers marked by a wider base of two levels of drawers and an upper section consisting of three narrower stacks of drawers topped by a series of even small drawers. Known as a best-on-stand or a chest-on-chest, the highboy’s name is derived from a corruption of the French bois (“wood”).

tallboy

A tallboy is similarly marked by a wider base of a double chest of drawers but is topped with a wardrobe. Highboys are frequently mislabeled at tallboys, which is a shame because it makes these beautiful storage pieces more difficult to find. Tallboys cab be further differentiated by the fact that they may have five, six, or even seven long drawers with only two short ones.

lowboy

And a lowboy is a small table with one drawer or two rows of drawers, named so as to differentiate it from its loftier cousins, the tallboys and the highboys. Just picture the bottom half of a highboy or tallboy, and you have yourself a right and proper lowboy.

(Photo via 1, 2, 3)

If You’re Building An Apartment Block, Might As Well Make It Cheerful!

A block of apartments in Chartres, France — a lovely, lovely place — might have looked like any other, were it not for four months of what must have been strenuous painting.

painted apartments 2

painted apartments 4

painted apartments

painted apartments 3

painted apartments 1

Aren’t they fun? Various areas are done in differing styles so you get a little taste of everything. I sadly don’t know anything about these apartments other than their locale, but more pics can’t be seen here.

It’s Rich O’Clock?

Looking for an apartment that’s a little different and have a spare $25 million laying about? Then you’re in luck, because the most expensive apartment in Brooklyn may still be on the market! The apartment was created by David Walentas, father of Dumbo, in an old but rather nice industrial building that he converted into offices and later, into condos. Renamed the ClockTower building, for obvious reasons.

most expensive apartment outside

Those being the four gigantic clock faces that adorn the tower, which coincidentally is where the most expensive apartment in Brooklyn is located. That’s right, in addition to a whopping 3,000-square-foot main floor and a 2,300-square-foot second floor, you get a 988-square-foot open loft, high ceilings, and amazing views from 14-foot windows that overlook the Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor.

Oh, and you get the joy of always knowing the correct time, so long as you’re good with reading clocks backward!

most expensive apartment

Note that I do not have a free $25 million laying about, but I’ll happily move into the most expensive apartment in Brooklyn if anyone might be so kind as to donate the fundage. Heck, I think those clocks are so cool that I wouldn’t even mind if they went tick-tick-tick, and that’s saying a lot since I’m rather obsessive about ambient noise.

most expensive apartment brooklyn

Note, too, that the buyer of the apartment need not worry about the nightmare of having four terribly big clocks each showing a different time. According to Walentas, the four clocks are electronically synchronized to show exactly the same time. That time being, of course, not rich o’clock, but rather poor o’clock.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

With The Beard gone this past week, I finally experienced the horrors of having a walk that desperately needed shoveling and a baby that refused to sleep. Karma must have been on my side, however, because when I finally gave up and decided to leave the baby in her crib (much to everyone’s dismay) a pair of burly teenagers came to the door offering up shovel services in return for a check made out to CASH. Oh, how grateful I was!

To honor all those chilly teens who walk the streets with shovels looking for a little spending money, here are two lovely photos of snow swept houses taken by my friend Qousqous. Perhaps if we all think of how picturesque our homes look when blanketed with snow, the chore of shoveling won’t seem so terrible?

snowy house

Cute, no? The snow effect works particularly well on cottages and old fashioned rectangular houses with lots of pretty trim around the windows, but no matter what sort of house you have snow can make it look a little cleaner and a little more photogenic… at least until the white stuff gets all slushy and gross.

snowy house 2

I did have one question for all my readers who live in snowy climes: Are teenagers with shovels a relatively rare occurrence these days? The pair that saved my tush the other day are the first I’ve seen since moving to the great white north. Mostly we just see construction workers with nothing better to do than roll around with snowblowers overcharging for a driveway blowout.

Drink Them Down, Stack Them Up

A friend of mine happened to be reading The Big Book of Small House Designs: 75 Award-Winning Plans for Your Dream House, All 1,250 Square Feet or Less because he and his wife want to build a small guest house on their property. As we happened to be drinking juice from glass bottles while he told me of his plans, I suggested he build a bottle house. Turns out he’d never heard of bottle houses, and I can’t imagine he’s the only one.

bottle house, bottle houses

Bottle houses are pretty much what they sound like, namely houses that use empty glass bottles (or jars) in their construction. However, the hallmark of the bottle house is that the glass bottles that provide substance and interest to the walls are highly visible and, in the nicest bottle houses, arranged by color in decorative patterns. Basically, glass bottles are stacked in a binding material like concrete, sometimes packed quite closely together. Other binders might be adobe, sand, stucco, clay, plaster, or mortar.

bottle house, bottle houses

In some cases, the bottles project into a space like in the house above, but in other bottle houses, the bottles are doubled up in the wall so you see the bottom of a partial bottle on the outside wall and the bottom of another bottle on the inside wall, creating a stained glass effect. The less binder you use, the more your bottle wall ended up being a bottle window. Why build a bottle house? Easy-to-find and possibly free building materials, for one thing. And you can pat yourself on the back for recycling in an unusual way. Plus, according to Wikipedia, “When the bottles are filled with a (dark) liquid, or other dark material, the wall can function as a thermal mass, absorbing solar radiation during the day and radiating it back into the space at night, thus dampening diurnal temperature swings.”

bottle house, bottle houses

Bottle houses seem to be found most commonly in hotter, drier climates, perhaps because of their ability to regulate the internal temperature of a home, though there are bottle houses and bottle sheds and bottle structures all over the world. Some are made of beer and soda bottles, some older bottle houses are made of bottles that held old timey things like Jhostetters’ Stomach Bitters, and there’s even one bottle house made from discarded embalming fluid bottles!

I go back and forth with regard to my opinion of these most interesting structures. On one hand, they are kind of cool looking, especially when the bottles or jars are arranged in an appealing pattern. But when they’re incorporated into a more traditional home design, a bottle wall can look tacky or gimmicky. Of course, you can’t argue with the price or the DIY friendliness of bottle houses. What do you think? Are bottle houses a yay or a nay?

(Images via: 1, 2, 3)

Trees, Three Ways

There’s a long tradition of looking to nature for inspiration in art and design, and no wonder. Once upon a time, there was nothing but pure imagination and what you could see around you in the great outdoors. Nowadays we have a lot more to look at, but nature continues to inspire those who create.

tree bed

The tree bed from Shawn Lovell Metalworks is a wee bit pricey at $15,000, but how delightful to sleep and dream in the comforting arms of a break in the woods. There’s even a nest for passing birds overhead!

tree-clothes-line

For those who wish to dry their duds the old fashioned way, Insitu has stylized tree clothes lines, suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The colors are great, though the $600 price tag leaves a lot to be desired.

tree vase, tree pot

These look like slim vases, but they’re actually quite tall. Jean-Marie Massaud’s Missed Tree Flower Pot has a sturdy steel base so you can be quite sure you won’t be left shouting timber as your beautiful pot crashes the ground.

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